|Deportation Row Boy Lawand Hamadamin Gets Reprieve
A last-minute reprieve has been confirmed for a deaf six-year-old boy threatened with deportation. Lawand Hamadamin's family fled Iraq because so-called Islamic State had threatened to kill disabled children. They moved to Derby via Germany so Lawand could learn sign language but the Home Office has said they should have stayed in Germany. The family, were due to leave on Monday 16th January, have now had a decision on their future deferred. A High Court judge will now look at their case and the review could take several months. After travelling via Greece, Germany and France, the family hid in the back of a lorry to get to the UK and ended up in Derby. Lawand now receives specialist education at the city's Royal School for the Deaf. More than 11,000 people have signed a petition against the deportation.
Read more: BBC News, http://tinyurl.com/zsnvvd7
Another Death in an Immigration Removal Centre – First in 2017
Another death has occurred at Morton Hall IRC. This time by suicide on Wednesday 11th January 2017. Detainees currently at Morton Hall report the man as 'young and quiet, never causing any trouble'. He spent his time watching TV, playing games and at the Gym. They say the vibes at the centre are 'very low and people are sick and tired of the place'. Speaking to ex-detainee friends of The Unity Centre the mood is also low, no one is surprised at yet another death but anger levels are high as suicides and deaths within the detention estates continue at what seems to be an increasing rate.
What has been reported to The Unity Centre by detainees held in Morton Hall is that it is believed the man was found around 12noon yesterday and was hanging in his room/cell. We are yet unsure as to how he was found or by whom. At 12noon all detainees were locked in their rooms in Morton Hall which is why this time of death is suspected.
The recently deceased was of Polish descent. The circumstances surrounding his suicide are that he was refused bail on the 23rd of December 2016, whereby, the argument was used by the Judge against granting bail because of the absence of a surety, his girlfriend, who was heavily pregnant at the time. She could not travel to the bail hearing because she was so close to her due date and Morton Hall is not an accessible place. Their baby was born on the day of the suicide; it is believed he was aware of the birth before he took his life. His friend had also been removed from Morton Hall and the UK one day prior to this.
We have also been told that the individual had not committed any crime in the UK and that he had sought medical help for his mental health conditions and been told to use the gym facilities. He did this regularly.
One detainee while reflecting on Wednesday's event says it is the 'mental conditions' of the centre that put so much pressure on people in detention to take such drastic actions. He said continuously thinking about things that are out of their hands is torture and that detention centres like Morton Hall are 'ticking time bombs'. For him he says he is trying to be as strong as he can but how strong can he be?
One Unity Centre Volunteer recalls 'Detainees are constantly comparing detention centres to prisons, with prisons being given preference. Detainees in Harmondsworth, now Heathrow Removal Centre, Colnbrook, Morton Hall and Yarl’s Wood overwhelmingly report on the poor levels of health care and mental health support. One detainee who has since been removed after two years in Colnbrook said it was like a mental institution with everyone receiving anti-depressants and other medications, he even said there was a trolley that was wheeled around the centre each day handing such medications
out. This cannot be the solution to locking people up with no idea on
whether they will be released, deported, or continue to sit aimlessly in
While centres like Morton Hall exist, with indefinite periods of detention in place and among the increasingly hostile environment manufactured towards migrants within the UK preventable deaths will continue.
The Unity Centre will hold an emergency demo outside the Glasgow Home Office Reporting Centre on Brand Street at 4:30pm on Monday 16th January 2017.
Source for this message: Unity Centre <email@example.com>
29 Deaths Across the UK Detention Estate - Suicide/Murder/Undetermined
|Sheffield Chilean Community: “We Touched the Sky”
It's easy forget that refugees have been welcomed, and their experience of fighting injustice has been valued here. That was part of the experience of Chilean refugees who came to South Yorkshire in the 1970's fleeing the results of the military coup there. While the UK Government did nothing to defend the elected Chilean Government against dictatorship, local trade unions welcomed and supported activists who shared their organising skills and courage with us. The Sheffield Chilean community have created "We Touched the Sky" an online course explaining what happened in Chile, why people were forced to become refugees and what it was like to arrive and live in South Yorkshire. To publicise this fascinating resource and to celebrate the solidarity shown by local people, South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG) has organised a joint meeting with the Sheffield Chilean community on Thursday 26th January
Public meeting: “We Touched the Sky”. Joint SYMAAG/Sheffield Chilean Community event to learn about the experience of Chilean refugees who came to Sheffield. Thursday, January 26, 7-8.30pm (doors open at 6.30 for pre-meeting refreshments), Quaker Meeting House, 10 St James’ St, Sheffield S1 2EW.
Our main speaker is Dr Jasmine Gideon, senior lecturer in development studies in the Geography Department at Birkbeck,University of London.She has recently published research on the health and well-being of Chilean refugee women in the UK. She will be joined by speakers from the Chilean community in Sheffield and a representative from the Sheffield labour movement who supported Chilean refugees in the 1970s.
The meeting is free though we'd welcome a donation to cover room-hire costs
Stuart Crosthwaite - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary, South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG)